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the patriot
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posted 29 June 2021 16:30     Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote

It seems to be a sad state of affairs for some of the Reserve Infantry units throughout the country. Unfortunately some of them are doomed to be on the chopping block within the near future. What doesn't make any sense at all is that a country which is approximately 30 million in population cannot sustain these Infantry Reserve units. Is training really getting that dry? What are the factors that are turning people away? There once was a time I can recall, that serving one's country as a Citizen Soldier was highly respected. I personally still feel that way.

-the patriot-

Posts: 179 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 29 June 2021 22:15     Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage   Email madorosh     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The same training year after year after year...the same MTSC exercises in the same training area, sometimes even the same grid squares...

A less motivated teenage population, a more liberal society - one that prizes individual selfishness rather than the community.

Look at pop culture heroes among teens - team sports seem less important than individual pursuits - climbing or skateboarding or snowboarding for example. It's terribly self indulgent, and the majority (not all, thank God, but a majority) of people coming up on military age just aren't accustomed to thinking of anyone but their own damn selves. The handful of youth who try and better their community through Army/Air/Sea Cadets, Venturers, Scouts etc. are derided or made to feel like outcasts.

Look at all the press that an "attack" on Mount Everest will garner - compared to the press our boys under fire in a war zone get. Personally, I don't see why anybody would want to climb Everest for any other reason than personal glory. And it is stupid to go out and possibly kill some Sherpas while you are going someplace that could far more easily be reached by HELICOPTER. How remarkably selfish and selfindulgent these people are! Another example is the (two?) guys who crossed a large tract of the Sahara - they didn't raise any money for charity, if I remember correctly - the just did it to say they did it. Who cares? At least the latest attempt to swim the English Channel is for charity.

Yet these are today's heroes. To be popular, you don't go and play hockey (which is not only a team sport, but people can come and watch and also enjoy the game simply by spectating - so you're really benefitting dozens of people by playing) - instead you go and ski - an individual pursuit. Certainly you don't HELP anyone less priviliged than you - you mock them in your spare time.

Sorry to rant. But this country is getting more and more disconnected from the things that made us great - hard work, dedication, generousity - that all our institutions are crumbling - the Army and the Militia just examples among many.

I sincerely hope someone will come on here and prove me wrong.

Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 30 June 2021 10:17     Profile for Red   Author's Homepage   Email Red     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Posts: 10 | From: Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
Mr Magoo
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posted 30 June 2021 12:42     Profile for Mr Magoo   Author's Homepage   Email Mr Magoo     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I can't say that I totally agree. I spend some of my spare time
with young people, once a year or so I go and visit a high school last year to give a presentation, this year I went out for a week
to help supervise a group that was hiking along a trail through Algonquin Park.

Today's teens are often just as sweet and innocent, cheerful and
respectful as any other generation. Honestly. I have been very
pleasently surprised. Teens are idealistic, they honestly want to save the world. It's the cynical adults who are out grabbing all they can get.

Every year fresh-faced young people are recruited into the Militia. Some get jerked around by the pay system. Some don't
like Army life. Some move away.

IF the government set Militia recruitment and retention as any
sort of priority, units would be full. There are a dizzying array of things that could be done to foster that. Better pay,
benefits, a "GI" bill that helped pay for school, more summer employment, perhaps in training at the Mountaineering school, Jump school, and so on, even tours of Canadian battlefields,
adventure training.

Young people seek challenge. They cry out for leadership. They
want to know if they have what it takes to make it. They desire to be fit, strong, and disciplined. Most are very proud Canadians. They're like sponges, whatever you feed them they soak up.

Posts: 24 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 30 June 2021 12:59     Profile for bossi   Author's Homepage   Email bossi     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The problem is quite complex, but I would focus upon a "national lack of memory" (combined with extremely cynical politicians who figure our allies will always be there to bail us out ... when our Sea Kings ditch and sink in the Pacific, or when our Search and Rescue choppers go N/S ...).

I figure it's like this:
After you've been in a traffic accident, you probably are more inclined to do up your seatbelt (just in case there's a "next time" ...)

After a house fire, you would probably install more smoke alarms, make sure their batteries are replaced, and maybe even work out an escape plan ...

If you've ever run out of gasoline in the winter, you probably pay more attention to your gas gauge (and dress more warmly when venturing out into winter storms ...)

However, when we live in "the best country in the world" (according to the U.N.), perhaps we forget why it's necessary to maintain a well-trained, properly-equipped military ... ?

Under the heading of "conspiracy theory", I've even heard it suggested there are those with a political agenda which would be well-served by a weak military (thus leaving Canada defenceless ... does anybody else remember Quisling?)

The most famous expression goes something like "... It's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy's a lazy lout. But, he's the hero of the country, when the guns begin to shout."

At the end of the day, it only strengthens my resolve not to give in and quit
- "Dileas Gu Brath", "Bydand", "Steadfast" seem quite appropriate
Mark Bossi, Esquire

Posts: 213 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 30 June 2021 15:16     Profile for madorosh   Author's Homepage   Email madorosh     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
For it's Tommy This, and Tommy That, and Chuck 'im out the brute,
But he's the hero of the country when the guns begin to shoot

- that's the way I heard it, anyway. I'm sure there are many versions.

Like I said (this is to Mr. Magoo) not all teens are bad ones - you were lucky to be with some good ones. Yes, we need legislation - badly - allowing time off for reservists, and REAL benefits - Health Care was nice - I've submitted my forms twice now, and in the last 5 years they have lost my forms both times and I haven't gotten a red cent. I've brought this up before, but I'll repeat here on the new forum - has anyone else been reimbursed for Provinical Health Care?

As for youth - REAL recruiting. I was on a recruiting drive this spring, and we set up a small display at the mall but it was very passive and hands off. I think you raise a good point that teens want to be challenged and led - and I am sure the military intimidates a lot of people because it is so small and no one knows anything about it. When I was in elementary school one of the guys was in cadets and telling horror stories about getting kicked in the testicles by his sergeant - I was too young to know it was BS. I didn't join cadets for another 4 years - and only because a friend did. The word simply isn't out there about what the Militia has to offer - and the Militia could offer a lot more. It now contributes credits toward a high school diploma - but why not credit towards a university degree? And how many employers look at Militia service on a resume and see that as an advantage to them - unless they have served themselves (and weren't soured by the experience) probably not too many. Depends on the latest scandal and fresh it is in their minds, I guess.

Maybe - and others have raised this point, maybe Mark was one of them - it is up to us already in the Militia to take on the task of educating people and actively recruiting.

Posts: 43 | From: Calgary, AB | Registered: Jun 2000
the patriot
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posted 30 June 2021 15:30     Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi Dorosh,

Just some quick advice for you on the point of "much needed time off" for the reservist community. I think I may have mentioned this on the Old War Diary. Write your local MP (Memeber of Parliament) and push for a private member's bill to amend the National Defense Act to allow EI (Employment Insurance) to cover one's civy pay while out on course or tasking, and/or to allow them time off automatically from their civy careers when a course/tasking comes up. Who cares what political party they belong to (in the end, all politicos screw us). If everyone who sees this, did just that (write their MP's), you just might see some sweeping changes. Apparently, all MP's are available through e-mail these days. I implore all of you to take strong advantage of this.

-the patriot-

Posts: 179 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000
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posted 30 June 2021 19:26     Profile for JO   Author's Homepage   Email JO     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
What you're talking about is job protection legislation, which they have in the US. I haven't got a clue why we haven't adopted that - if a reservist is called up for a deployment, he can get fired from his civilian job. The government should adopt this legislation as well, along with the EI/UI benefits you suggested; they'd complement each other nicely, and give reservists a lot more job security.
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posted 30 June 2021 21:48     Profile for Gunner   Author's Homepage   Email Gunner     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Jo...Reservist cannot be called up for operational deployment (they can, however, it takes an order in council for it to occur and short of a national mobilization/emergency, it won't happen). Reservists go on Op depl for a myriad of reasons, however, they are all volunteers.

Everyone brings up some very good points and concerns. I don't know if its the youth of today because just recently, I spoke with the CFRC in Edmonton and the local reserve recruiters and they are turning people away this summer because there isn't enough room on the scheduled courses. Hence the interest is there.

Secondly, I don't think the Reserve system (in general) provides young soldiers alot of interesting and challenging training. The idea of joining the Reserves to clean C7s all night is not what they are after. Young men and women don't always join for the money, it's more about the excitement. This is often a let down for them.

Third, I don't think the military "system" treats Reservists very well. I've been in a fair length of time and I've seen and heard enough in how Reservists are treated to view any initiative to make the Reserves better with much skepticism. I think most Reservists feel that as well and "we" foster it in our young soldiers and officers. Part of this is we have no lobbyist on our behalf. Perhaps if the Fraser Reports recommendation of a ADM for Reserve Affairs will help.

Finally, as I always point out, if you agree with the fact that the Military as a whole has been neglected by a series of governments, you have to realize that the Reserves, functioning at the bottom of the food chain, are merely on life support and will not be able to grow without significant structural, organizational and resource changes.

Rant Ends

Posts: 96 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000

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